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STANDARDIZED TACTICAL ROW MINEFIELDS

The specific composition of a tactical row minefield depends on METT-T factors and available resources. To aid in standardization of platoon techniques, four compositions have been developed to match desired obstacle effects. Using standardized minefields facilitates planning the obstacle type, size, and logistical requirements. It is imperative that the design and the effect of these minefields are well understood. They are an integral part of combined arms obstacle doctrine and form the cornerstone of engineer obstacle operations.

DISRUPT AND FIX

Disrupt and fix row minefields (Figure 6-10) are similarly constructed, but a fix minefield has an IOE and does not have AHDs.

Figure 6-10. Standardized disrupt and fix row minefields

Disrupt and fix row minefields are emplaced as follows:

  • Row A.

  • - 42 full-width AT mines (tilt-rod) are placed 6 meters apart.
    - No turning points.
    - Mines are surface-laid (staked) or buried.
  • Row B.

  • - Start and end row markers are emplaced 50 meters behind Row A.
    - 42 track-width AT mines are placed 6 meters apart.
    - Preferably no more than 3 turning points.
    - Mines are surface-laid or buried.
  • Row C.

  • - Emplaced 100 meters behind Row A.
    - 42 track-width AT mines are placed 6 meters apart.
    - No turning points.
    - Mines are surface-laid or buried.
  • IOE (fix minefield only).

  • - 3 IOE short rows.
    - A separate IOE baseline.
    - The IOE baseline is on the enemy side, 15 meters from Row A.
    - 7 full-width AT mines are placed 6 meters apart on each IOE short row.
    - Mines are buried.
    - The first IOE short row is placed 48 meters from the IOE end marker, the next short row is 84 meters from the first short row, and the third short row is 84 meters from the second short row.

TURN

A turn minefield (Figure 6-11) consists of four rows of full-width mines and two rows of track-width mines.

Figure 6-11. Standardized turn row minefield

A turn row minefield is emplaced as follows:

  • Row A.

  • - 84 full-width AT mines (tilt-rod) are placed 6 meters apart.
    - No turning points.
    - Mines are surface-laid (staked) or buried.
  • Row B.

  • - Start and end row markers are emplaced 50 meters behind Row A.
    - 84 full-width AT mines (tilt-rod) are placed 6 meters apart.
    - Preferably no more than 5 turning points.
    - Mines are surface-laid (staked) or buried.
  • Row C.

  • - Emplaced 100 meters behind Row A.
    - 84 full-width AT mines (tilt-rod) are placed 6 meters apart.
    - No turning points.
    - Mines are surface-laid (staked) or buried.
  • Row D.

  • - Emplaced 100 meters behind Row C.
    - 84 full-width AT mines (tilt-rod) are placed 6 meters apart.
    - No turning points.
    - Mines are surface-laid (staked) or buried.
  • Row E.

  • - Start and end row markers are emplaced 50 meters behind Row D.
    - 84 track-width AT mines are placed 6 meters apart.
    - Preferably no more than 5 turning points.
    - Mines are surface-laid or buried.
  • Row F.

  • - Emplaced 100 meters behind Row D.
    - 84 track-width AT mines are placed 6 meters apart.
    - No turning points.
    - Mines are surface-laid or buried.

BLOCK

A block minefield (Figure 6-12) has an IOE (Korea Only: and AP mines) and has 20 percent AHDs in two of its rows of full-width mines. AHDs are placed in Rows B and C for the best effect. (Korea Only: A block minefield also requires 84 M16 or M14 AP mines and has a density of 0.17 M16/M14 AP mine per linear meter.)

Figure 6-12. Standardized block row minefield

A block row minefield is emplaced as follows:

  • Row A.

  • - 84 full-width AT mines (tilt-rod) are placed 6 meters apart.
    - No turning points.
    - Mines are surface-laid (staked) or buried.
  • Row B.

  • - Start and end row markers are emplaced 50 meters behind Row A.
    - 84 full-width AT mines (tilt-rod) are placed 6 meters apart.
    - Preferably no more than 5 turning points.
    - Mines are surface-laid (staked) or buried.
  • Row C.

  • - Emplaced 100 meters behind Row A.
    - 84 full-width AT mines (tilt-rod) are placed 6 meters apart.
    - No turning points.
    - Mines are surface-laid (staked) or buried.
  • Row D.

  • - Emplaced 100 meters behind Row C.
    - 84 full-width AT mines (tilt-rod) are placed 6 meters apart.
    - No turning points.
    - Mines are surface-laid (staked) or buried.
  • Row E.

  • - Start and end row markers are emplaced 50 meters behind Row D.
    - 84 track-width AT mines are placed 6 meters apart.
    - Preferably no more than 5 turning points.
    - Mines are surface-laid or buried.
  • Row F.

  • - Emplaced 100 meters behind Row D.
    - 84 track-width AT mines are placed 6 meters apart.
    - No turning points.
    - Mines are surface-laid or buried.
  • IOE.

  • - 6 IOE short rows.
    - A separate IOE baseline.
    - 7 full-width AT mines are placed 6 meters apart on each IOE short row.
    - Mines are buried.
    - The first IOE short row is placed 72 meters from the IOE end marker, and the five subsequent IOE short rows are placed at 72-meter intervals on the IOE baseline.
  • Korea Only: AP mines.

  • - AP mines are placed on two rows of full-width AT mines.
    - AP mines are placed in a cluster around AT mines.
    - One AP mine is placed in front of every other AT mine.

HASTY PROTECTIVE ROW MINEFIELDS

Hasty protective row minefields are temporary in nature and are used as part of a unit's defensive perimeter. Units usually use mines from their basic load. If time permits, mines should be buried to increase their effectiveness, but they can be surface-laid. The minefield can be easily recovered because AHDs, nonmetallic mines, or low-metallic mines are not used. Mines are employed outside the hand-grenade range but within the range of small-caliber weapons. All mines are picked up by the emplacing unit upon leaving the area, unless enemy pressure prevents mine retrieval or the minefield is being transferred to a relieving commander.

RULES

The brigade commander has the initial authority to employ hasty protective row minefields. This authority may be delegated to the battalion or company commander on a mission-by-mission basis.

Most of the rules governing hasty protective row mining are defined in STANAG 2036. A summary of those rules and some additional rules that apply are shown below.

  • Rows.

  • - Rows are marked and recorded. They are designated by letters (A, B, and so forth) with Row A being closest to the enemy.
    - The minimum distance between rows of AT mines is 8 meters.
    - Korea Only: The minimum distance between any row and a row containing AP mines is 15 meters.
    - The distance between the start row marker and the first mine in a row is the mine spacing for that row.
    - An IOE row is not used.
    - Start and end row markers are permanent markers and must be made of detectable material.
  • General.

  • - The spacing between mines is at least 4 meters to prevent sympathetic detonation. There is no maximum distance between mines within the row.
    - Mines are at least 15 meters from the perimeter fence.
    - The minefield must be fenced on all sides if M18A1 AP mines are employed and the minefield will be in place for more than 72 hours.
    - The minefield has at least one landmark that is located to the rear, never to the extreme side or front.
    - The minefield has an easily identifiable RP (tree, stump, stake).
    - Back azimuths are not used to record the minefield.
    - Measurements are in meters.
    - AHDs, nonmetallic mines, or low-metallic mines are not used.
    - Minefields are recorded on DA Form 1355-1-R (see Chapter 8).

SITE LAYOUT

Requesting and receiving permission to lay mines is the first step when emplacing a hasty protective row minefield. The next step is conducting a thorough leader's reconnaissance of the proposed minefield area. Identify mine locations that cover likely AAs, enhance key weapon systems, and cover dead space. Establish an easily identifiable RP between the minefield and the unit position. From the RP, visualize mines as running in rows parallel to the unit position (Figure 6-13). After the RP is established and the minefield is visualized, complete recording and emplace the mines, but do not arm them. This procedure simplifies recording and makes retrieval quicker and safer.

Figure 6-13. Site layout

Mine Rows

The row closest to the enemy is designated as Row A; succeeding rows are designated B, C, D, and so on. The ends of rows are shown by two end row markers. They are labeled with the letter of the row and the number 1 for the right end of the row or the number 2 for the left end of the row. The rows are numbered from right to left, facing the enemy. The marker should be an easily identifiable object, such as a wooden stake with a nail or a steel picket so that it can be found with an AN/PSS-12 mine detector.

Laying Procedures

From the RP, the leader measures the magnetic azimuth, in degrees, to a selected point on the right side (facing the enemy) of the tentative minefield. He paces off the distance and records it in meters. This point (B1) marks the beginning of the second row. The leader places a marker at B1 and records the azimuth and the distance on DA Form 1355-1-R.

From B1, the leader measures the azimuth and distance to a second point on the right side of the minefield (facing the enemy). He places a marker at this point (A1), and records the information.

The leader measures the distance and the azimuth from A1 to the location of the first mine in that row. The distance (or spacing) from the end row marker to the first mine is the mine spacing for that row. After the leader records the location, the mine is emplaced, but it is not armed.

The distance and azimuth are measured from the first mine to the second mine, and so on, until all the mines are emplaced and the locations are recorded. This procedure is repeated for the second row. As each mine is recorded, it is assigned a number to identify it in the minefield record.

When the last mine location is recorded for a row, the distance and the azimuth are measured from that point to another arbitrary point, A2 or B2. A marker is placed here in the same manner as A1 and B1. Next, the distance and azimuth from the RP to B2 and from B2 to A2 are measured and recorded.

When all the mines have been placed and recorded, the leader measures the distance and the azimuth between the RP and a permanent landmark that can be found on the map. He records the information on DA Form 1355-1-R. The landmark is used to assist others in locating the minefield if it is transferred or unexpectedly abandoned.

Mines can be armed after recording is complete. Mines nearest the enemy are armed first, allowing soldiers to safely work their way back to the unit position. Pins and clips are buried 30 centimeters behind row markers, the RP, or any easily identifiable, accessible location. Record the location of the pins and clips in the remarks section of DA Form 1355-1-R. The leader then reports the completion of the minefield to higher headquarters.

If the minefield is transferred to another unit, the transferring unit leader briefs the gaining unit leader. The gaining unit leader signs and dates the mines-transferred block on the DA Form 1355-1-R. The form is destroyed when the minefield is removed. If the minefield is abandoned unexpectedly, the DA Form 1355-1-R is forwarded to higher headquarters.

Mine Removal

When removing mines from a hasty protective row minefield, the leader first determines the best method to use:

  • If the minefield has been under constant observation from the time it was laid and has not been tampered with, the squad leader directs the personnel who laid the mines to pick up the same mines. He uses DA Form 1355-1-R preceded by a mine detector to determine the types of mines to be removed and where they are located.
  • If the minefield has not been under constant observation, may have been tampered with, or the personnel who laid the mines are not available or do not remember the location of the mines, the squad leader uses DA Form 1355-1-R and a clearance team as outlined in Chapter 11 to locate and remove mines.

The leader retrieves safety devices, shipping plugs, and other items that accompanied the emplaced mines. Using the azimuths and distances provided on the DA Form 1355-1-R, the removal team starts at the RP and moves to B1. They then move from B1 to the mine and remove the mine. If B1 is destroyed, the team moves from the RP to B2. The team then shoots a back azimuth (subtract 180 degrees) from the recorded azimuth from B2 to the first mine and removes the mine. Personnel continue this process until all the mines have been removed. The stakes at Al, B1, A2, and B2 are necessary because it is safer to find a stake than to find an armed mine.

The removal team observes basic safety precautions by maintaining 30 meters between personnel, not running, and moving only in cleared areas. The team starts with the row closest to the defender and works toward the enemy. Personnel--

  • Check the sides and bottoms of the mines for AHDs, and disarm or mark the mines as they are found.
  • Replace all pins, clips, and other safety devices before the mines are removed from the ground.
  • Turn arming dials to SAFE or UNARMED; or if mines have screw-type fuses, remove the fuses and take them away from the mines.
  • Lift the mines from the holes after they have been rendered safe.

  • - If a mine was put in place and kept in sight by the individual who removes it, he lifts it directly from the hole after rendering it safe.
    - If a mine has not been kept in sight, the individual attaches a 60-meter rope or wire to the mine, takes cover, and pulls the mine from the hole.
  • As each mine is removed, place a tick mark beside it on the DA Form 1355-1-R.
  • Assemble all the mines in one location for accountability.

NOTE: AHDs are not used in hasty protective row minefields. However, as a safety precaution, consider all mines to be equipped with AHDs until proven otherwise.

The leader confirms the removal of the mines and accounts for the number of mines, by type, as recorded on the DA Form 1355-1-R. The leader may find it necessary to confirm an exploded mine to account for all the mines.

To confirm a mine explosion that was not witnessed, identify the crater or traces of burnt soil made by the detonated mine and place a tick mark beside the mine number on the DA Form 1355-1-R. Ensure that the crater found in the vicinity of the mine was caused by a land mine and not by artillery. A mine crater is normally shallow and circular, and it shows traces of burnt soil. The impact and the soil dispersion of artillery is normally elongated.

The squad leader confirms that each mine is disarmed and safe. The removal team cleans and repacks serviceable mines for future use and destroys the others; they repack serviceable mines in their original containers and store them according to the unit SOP and local regulations. The removal team removes and stores the row markers. The leader submits a report to his higher headquarters stating that the minefield has been removed and that the area is clear.



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